Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
Simon B Cotter
Snorri Hergill Kristjansson
Special guest who cannot be named
Stephen K Amos
Steve N Allen
The co-founder of Viz magazine, Newcastle-born Simon Donald turned to stand-up in 2005.
He set up the cult comic in 1979 with his brother Chris, where his creatings included Sid the Sexist. When Chris quit as editor in 1999, Simon took up the role of co-editor, leaving in 2003.
He has also been a stage manager, singer with a comedy rock band called Johnny Shiloe’s Movement Machine, manager of the indie band Hungover Stuntmen and presenter of a short-lived regional panel show, the Regionnaires, which aired on ITV Tyne Tees, in 2004.
His comedy act began as straight stand-up, but has recently evolved into character work.
Simon Donald Is Completely Hatstand
As one of the creators of Viz magazine, Simon Donald has had a huge influence on the comedy scene, paving the way for such ‘ironic’ bad-taste comics as Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr through stupidly offensive comic strips and wonderfully gratuitous language.
Thirty years on, he’s moved from page to stage, presenting a new collection of characters, none of whom have enough distinction to make anything like the cultural impact of Sid The Sexist, Johnny Fartpants or the Fat Slags – despite some funny moments.
First up is Barry Twyford, a monotone-voiced market researcher asking the audience questions as proposed by the youth of Newcastle. No surprise it’s not your normal YouGov poll, but if anyone knows how to mine the inherently funny Geordie patois for laughs it’s Donald, and the payoffs are a joy, although the pace is slow and the humour begins to get repetitive.
Less assured characters include Rick Kestrell, a Cockney plumber to the stars who has one misdirection joke he repeats too often; and Dominic Farquhar, the overly familiar comic target of a posh student for whom everything is ‘literally’ ‘amaaazing’.
More successful is Bingo, thick as wet cement, attempting do ‘dae some jokes for you’ and fellow comedian Jeremy Jitler who’s forensically analysed the structure and form of stand-up, which he now parrots robotically. It’s Mr Logic, basically, but with comedy in-jokes.
Talking of Viz, Donald does just that, punctuating the character pieces with ‘an audience with…’ style anecdotes from the magazine’s history – run-ins with humourless publishers, legal shenanigans and the like, which always prove interesting.
He leaps from being himself and his creations by sounding a comedy hooter – hardly a huge vote of confidence that the audience will be able to tell where he ends and the acting starts; though he makes a decent fist of making his grotesques believable. Just a bit funnier would help, too.
|Date of live review: Wednesday 11th Aug, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
Wednesday 26th Oct, '11- Newcastle Stand
Simon Donald Dirty Great Fringepiece
Tuesday 9th Aug, '11-
I think Simon is outstanding. His characters are very original and very funny. More than what I can say about a lot of joke thieves around the place. Keep it up Simon.
Zack, you couldn't be more wrong! I watched this show within 10 miles of Newcastle and it was simply painful.
The inherent funniness and appeal of Simon Donald's act stretches far beyond the Toon and its environs. Got to see glimpses of one of his characters 'Barry Twyford' last year (the 'lunchables' shtick had everyone in stitches), great to see he's branched out into other characters too. Far more on offer here than just cut-out Geordie stereotypes - he can be both clever and crude with incredible ease. He clearly relishes awkward moments and tricks the audience into thinking he's lost the plot and then hits you with belly-laugh punchlines. One of the acts I always look out for at the Fringe.
Brilliant description of my act there from Zack there. There is literally nothing more to it than that. Keep up the good work, Zack, you're just what the comedy public needs. Love your work.
If you think being funny is talking in Geordie very slowly and repeat yourself continually then you'll love this. Awful. Only funny within 10 miles of Newcastle...
Simon Donald and Maff Brown
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Simon Donald Is Completely Hatstand
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Simon Donald's Dirty Great Fringepiece
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Heroes of Alternative Fringe
Simon Donald’s School of Swearing
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Simon Donald: Butch Straight Poof